Dallas was… well, Dallas. My visit was quite possibly the most intense few weeks of my life up to this point. Two births, a death, a near-death, a saddening medical diagnosis. New friendships forged. Old friendships reinforced, redefined, distanced, dissolved. Lots of conversations. Lots of socialization. Lots of late nights. Lots of alcohol and food consumption. Lots of necessary (and unnecessary) shopping. Lots of drama. Not a lot of sleep. Not a lot of exercise. And not a lot of down-time. Well, except when I was driving. Did I mention there was a lot of driving?
And Yosemite is still Yosemite. I am left wondering at how green everything became during my absence. And where did all the people come from?! I had to wait in line to get through the entrance station on Saturday! And tons of people crawling all over the Valley. Crazy… but I don’t mind so much. I’m just happy to be back!
I’m all set up in my campsite (with the moral support of a very friendly Stellar’s Jay). Tomorrow I head down to El Portal to fill out my Conservancy paperwork and start training. And then the day after that, I’m back on the Interp schedule. I’ll be living in the campgrounds and volunteering and working (and hiking and birding and socializing) until the Tioga Road opens and I can move up to Tuolumne Meadows where I’ll be working for the Conservancy full-time and probably still volunteering with NPS intermittently. And big progress is being made on the Tioga Road; check out the current status here: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tioga.htm.
Speaking of birding, I’ve spotted some American robins, yellow-rumped warblers, common ravens, Brewer’s blackbirds, and black-headed grosbeaks from my campsite in addition to the Stellar’s Jay. I also heard an owl this morning. Possibly a spotted owl. Not too anxious to confirm that because their eyes kind of freak me out a little bit. I’ve got bird and wildlife sightings lists from my trip that I have aspirations of posting. But the sun is shining, the weather is perfection, the birds are singing, and my electronics are charged. So maybe another day…
Life is extremely amazingly wonderfully brilliant!